HOUSE MINORITY LEADER Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) has joined the flat-tax-reform bandwagon. His plan, to be made public on July 6, sets five rates, from 10% for couples earning $40,200 to 33.8% for those making more than $264,450. It would eliminate most deductions and credits, including those for state and local taxes, child care, and municipal bonds. Workers would pay tax on the value of employer-paid health insurance and company pension contributions. Capital gains would be taxed at ordinary rates. The big winner: Homeowners and the housing industry, since mortgage deductions would stay. Gephardt figures 75% of taxpayers would pay 10%.
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